Want to live dangerously? Get yourself a desk job

Burger at desk
54% of office people eat lunch at their desks – taking one hell of a chance with their health doing it

Looks all innocent, doesn’t it?

Your stylish office workstation, finished in beech.

With the go-getter image top performers like you deserve. Plus the company iPad.

Very sexy.

Potentially lethal

And every bit as dangerous as a bullet to the head.

Because it looks all nice and neat now. But what happens at lunch time?

Too busy to stop, huh?

So did you brown-bag a sandwich, or pop down to the greasy spoon?

Not good, eating at the keyboard. Your mobile germ transporter. OK on the first day, but very quickly home to more than 7,500 bacteria – on a desk that could be harbouring 10 million more. 400 times the health hazard of an average toilet seat.

Which means, if you get even a minor skin break – a paper cut, or a stapler stab – you could wind up with a major infection.

Because your desk never really gets cleaned, does it?

False security

The swamp-out team come in every night – to vacuum the floors and empty the waste baskets. If you’re lucky, all your desk gets is a wipe with a damp cloth. The same damp cloth as all the other desks. Really just a germ transfer from one to the next.

And that’s usually it.

Nothing behind your in-trays or any stacks of documents you might have – they don’t want to mix up important papers – or cause them to go missing.

So the dust bunnies are all still at the back there – along with biscuit crumbs from your morning coffee – and the odd chip from the fries that went with your burger. Oh, and bits of last week’s chicken coronation sandwich – and the bacon butty everybody had after the power-breakfast workshop session

All kinds of nasty goodies living in there – multiplying every day. Flu germs, norovirus, e.coli and you don’t want to know what else. Even MRSA, the one hospitals dread because antibiotics don’t work against it. There’s lots of bugs like that these days – causing doctors to tear their hair out.

And have you ever heard of sepsis? There’s no resistance against that either, like all kinds of different germs, all at the same time.

Because that paper cut could very easily fester if it gets infected.

Killer threat

And everywhere your hands rest on your desk there are likely to be more germs. Any one of which could trigger sepsis and then you’re really in trouble – a meltdown of your body’s immune system that claims 37,000 lives a year in Europe – more than those killed in road accidents.

Yes, you can die from it.

Which is why, if you want to survive an office job, you’d better carry some protection.

At the very least, a set of sanitising wipes to do your hands and all the work surfaces.

Not the general cleaning kind, they’re not good enough. Make sure it says “antibacterial” on the label, you don’t want to take chances.

Even better is to persuade the boss to get a Hypersteriliser.

Safe and sterile

Every night when you go home, it mists up the whole office space with a deep-penetrating hydrogen peroxide plasma – a kind of electrically-charged super-gas. Stuff that actively grabs viruses and bacteria out of the air, and oxidises them to oblivion.

By morning, when you come in, the whole place is sterile. No germs, nothing – you and your colleagues are completely safe.

So is your desk. After the wipe-down, the hydrogen peroxide takes out every microorganism that might be hiding there. From 10 million germs to 0 – even if you don’t properly clean your keyboard or phone.

Still not a good idea to keep eating lunch there though. You need to get out more, get some fresh air, take a break, let your mind reset while you get some exercise, feel some of the wonderful world out there.

You’re a top performer, right? And you need to keep that mind sharp and stimulated.

Not dangerous at all, more like fun.

Originally posted on 8 November 2018 @ 3:09 am

Ban lunch at your desk, rescue lost productivity

Burger at desk
54% of office people eat lunch at their desks – and take one hell of achance doing it

Here it comes, the usual blah about talking a break, you need to get out more. Actually, just lift your keyboard and lunch is there – from yesterday, or the day before, or maybe last week.

Not all of it, of course. You ate that.

But there’s plenty of crumbs and bits. Along with grit, dust bunnies and other yuck. Maybe not enough for a mouse or cockroach – but great for a whole colony of bacteria. A few million e.coli for instance, or rampant staphylococcus – a legend in its own lunch time.

That’s right, germs.

Just sitting there, waiting for you to touch them – and put your fingers in your mouth ten minutes later.

Because that’s what we do, you know. Touch our mouth, eyes and nose every few minutes, sometimes 3,000 times a day.

One touch is all it takes

Exactly how that cold, flu or tummy bug starts – or whatever nasty it is that starts at the office.

Because you haven’t washed your hands, have you? Maybe not since you left home. During which time you’ve handled gloves, keys, money, your handbag or wallet, door handles, lift buttons, grab handles on the bus, the push button at a pedestrian crossing, and loads of others.

All things we know and use every day. But when you think about it, never get cleaned or wiped from one year to the next. Not unless some accident happens, like salad dressing from your sandwich squidges all over them.

Clean hands are a start – way fewer germs. Except they stop being clean as soon as you touch something. Because what are the chances the thing you touch isn’t covered in germs too?

Blowing off the dust won’t crack it. Neither will a once-over with a damp rag. An antibacterial will do better – except you still can’t get all the nooks and crannies. Specially in that tangle of wires at the back of your computer.

Bad bugs, waiting for you

Hardly surprising. The average desk for instance, has 10 million germs on it. Gets a wipe-down every night when the swamp-out team do the place. Which basically transfers all the germs from the next desk to yours and around the whole office.

Nary a deep clean, except maybe once a year. Which also tends to be a wipe-down, only this time with bleach. Not too strong though, because of the smell. And not for too long either, that stuff eats plastic and corrodes metal. So actual contact time to kill germs is pretty minimal.

And you want to each your lunch there?

Helps to explain how it is that each of us has something wrong with us every few days or so. An infected cut, headache, acid reflux or simply feeling lousy. Around every three days, according to research.

And we still expect ourselves to be 100% on-the-ball, alert and fully focused? Who are we kidding that our work is up to scratch feeling like that? Like it or not, we’re making mistakes, missing detail and taking way longer than we should to do stuff.

Unwell at work, stress, not a good lunch

That’s a lot of time, money and anguish down the drain, from trying to be a hero at our desks. 57.5 days a year, we struggle like that. Unwell at work almost three working months.

Work in an open plan office and those numbers just multiply. More people with more germs – spread around by sharing the same space, touching the same things and the ever-helpful air con stirring the atmosphere.

Bring back dog-box offices, take your lap-top to the coffee shop – or better still, work from home!

On top of which is the stress of knowing we should stay home, we’re contagious – but not wanting to call in sick. Worried about job security or being labelled a wimp. Colleagues blaming us for leaving them in a lurch. Being left out of the loop. Or accused of skiving off.

All from germs on your desk – and multiplied several times over by eating lunch there.

OK, so you go out for lunch. You were trying to save money, but at least you’ll avoid the germs.

Germs everywhere

Until you come back.

Because the germs don’t just come from food. They’re on everything and everywhere, held in check only by our body’s immune system.

Well, yes – because when DO you wash your hands?

Galloping through the day, such basic hygiene isn’t even on our radar. More like “logiene”, because:

Can’t win, can we?

Go out to avoid germs, wash our hands – we catch them anyway.

Unless the place is treated so there aren’t any – by an effective health protection system. Rendered germ-free, so we arrive in the morning and it’s sterilised. No germs to catch, nothing contagious – we’re safe.

Zero germs, zero illness

Yeah, sure – we bring in germs from outside, on our skin and our clothing, we can’t avoid that.

Meanwhile the germ threshold is zero, we’re less likely to come down with anything.

Our colleagues too. Three working months per person snatched from the jaws of lost productivity. Fewer mistakes, better concentration, less stress, jobs finished on time – no need to work late.

You wouldn’t have to ban lunch at your desk either – though the crumbs and stuff will still happen.

How you handle that is your problem. Wipes and hand gel would be good.

No worries if you forget though.

The health protection system’s got your back – and you can get away with it.

About this blog

Back Off, Bacteria! is the blog of Hyper Hygiene Ltd, supplier of what we’re convinced is the most effective health protection system in the world. A fully mobile, all-automatic Hypersteriliser machine mists up workplaces with ionised hydrogen peroxide, spreading everywhere and eliminating all bacteria, viruses and fungi. Achieves 6-log Sterility Assurance Level – 99.9999% of germs destroyed. The only EPA-registered dry mist fogging system – EPA No 84526-6. EU Biocide Article 95 Compliant.

Originally posted on 13 December 2017 @ 1:23 pm

Delete all germs, Y/N? Or send to cloud?

Woman at keyboard
Ew! Delete all germs! There’s more on your keyboard than there are in the loo!

OK, they got you.

You read a piece in the paper about germs on your desk and scared yourself to death.

Then you took a look at your computer keyboard and called your office cleaning service.

Yes, they do sanitising of IT equipment, including screens and keyboards. Oh, and don’t you want your phones done too? Staff are on the line all the time and need protection.

A big cleaning job

You look at them, at their workstations – in those space-maximising groups of four, clustered together. Lots of work to be done, everyone with double screens, always on the go.

Good on you, you’ve earned a coffee – and the specialist team is coming tomorrow. Delete all germs, yeah!

Wow, but they are impressive. Air blasters that squidge out dust and dirt – all those bits of biscuit that dropped down between the keys. And this virucidal liquid stuff that lifts the gunge of your keys so they look like new when you thought the letters were fading. Oh, and the wipes for screen, yeah!

Twenty minutes, all done.

You watch as the team goes round the rest of the office. Everyone’s raving at their shiny new-look keyboards. You nod to yourself.

It’s not over till it’s over

Then you notice something on the desk behind your screen. A dust bunny. No worries, the usual cleaning team will take care of that when they come in this evening.

Or not.

Difficult to get to, behind all those screens clustered together. Worried about unplugging something too. So their best is thrust with a feather duster, or a quick go-round with the vacuum cleaner hose.

Delete all germs? Well, only sort of.

Cough, cough, splutter.

Dust bunnies in the air – bits of biscuit from the blow-out sessions too.

So just how clean is your office really?

Sure it looks OK, but how safe is it from germs?

You sit there and think about what could be under the desk. Lurking in the cables snarled together where the CPUs are. No vacuuming there either – don’t want to disturb the connections.

Behind the scenes

And what about behind the photo copier? Or the great triple-whammy broadband server up against the pillar? Won’t the air-con circulate all those dust bunnies and biscuit bits? Plus the cough-sneezes from you and everybody else?

It’s not just your desk that’s full of germs – it’s the whole office. (Tweet this)

But if somebody was going to clean and disinfect that lot properly, they’d be wiping and scrubbing all day. And still the air-con would be circulating stuff – round and round in a great invisible cloud.


Surely there’s something that can handle taking the germs out without making it a major mission, or ponging the place up with chlorine bleach?

Fortunately, there is.

Safe from germs

It’s called a Hypersteriliser and it sterilises the whole place completely – no germs no nothing, safe.

You still need the cleaning team, because the machine doesn’t actually clean off dirt.

What it does do is mist the place up with ionised hydrogen peroxide – oxidising viruses and bacteria on contact like microscopic explosions, physically ripping their cells apart.

The stuff gets everywhere too, because the ionising charges the mist particles so they race away, trying to escape each other. Charged with energy, they push and shove – under, behind and deep into any cracks – no germ can escape them.

Forty minutes is all it needs – give or take an oz, depending on room size.

Delete all germs, yes! And way quicker than a whole team of cleaners could ever achieve. (Tweet this)

And all you do is wheel it into place, check it’s juiced up and ready to go, hit the button and get out of there – job done.

So, are you going to accept just the clean keyboard – or do want to hit the whole place?

Breathe deep and think. Your colleagues are depending on this too.

Like, if you don’t do anything, how many more sickies are you going to pull this year?

Back Off, Bacteria! is the blog of Hyper Hygiene Ltd, supplier of what we’re convinced is the most effective health protection system in the world. A fully mobile, all-automatic Hypersteriliser machine mists up workplaces with ionised hydrogen peroxide, spreading everywhere and eliminating all bacteria, viruses and fungi.

Hypersteriliser units are supplied to businesses and institutions across the UK, notably the haematology and other critical units at Salford Royal Hospital, Greater Manchester; Doncaster & Bassetlaw Hospital; South Warwickshire Hospital; Coventry & Warwickshire Hospital; and Queen Victoria Hospital, East Grinstead.

The Halo Hypersteriliser system achieves 6-log Sterility Assurance Level – 99.9999% of germs destroyed. It is the only EPA-registered dry mist fogging system – EPA No 84526-6. It is also EU Biocide Article 95 Compliant.

Originally posted on 27 September 2018 @ 10:16 am

Originally posted on 27 September 2018 @ 10:16 am

How to survive eating at your desk

Workaholic eating
So your boss lets you get away with it, but how about the germs?

Unhealthy, bad-mannered, repulsive to others.

But say what you like, more than half of us eat at our desks – and we aren’t going to stop.

Yes, it demonstrates job insecurity. Yes, it encourages an obsessive-compulsive work ethic.  But just try and stop it, and you’ll have a revolt on your hands.

Better to go with the flow. And at least try to make things healthier and easier.

Start with self-preservation

Healthier for sure.

Just compare what happens AFTER you’ve noshed your graze.

In a restaurant – if you’re that posh – they’ll whip away the tablecloth and replace it with a fresh one. New cutlery and glasses are laid, straight out of the dishwasher. Fresh, clean and ready to go for the next punters.

Fast food joints also get the treatment. The debris gets bused away and the hard plastic table gets a spray and a sanitiser wipe down. Usually dimethyl benzyl ammonium chloride, known as a “quat” compound – probably Clorox, Signet, or a house solution like No 2.

Both at least present clean, welcoming surfaces with a low risk of germs.

So how about your desk?

Uh huh.

Not even OCD types go the whole hog and wipe down everything after eating. Which means every day, the cumulative yuck gets worse.

For starters, it’s pretty well impossible to eat any meal without dropping crumbs or other bits. Gooey stuff too. Mayonnaise out of a salad wrap, tomato sauce off chips, jam squidged out of a doughnut.

Yeah, maybe you’ve got a tissue for that. Or some toilet roll from the loo. But no wet wipes, hey? Antibacterial or otherwise. And certainly not dimethyl benzyl ammonium chloride.

The start of the yuck factor

Oh sure, sure. The cleaning team wipe down desks in the evening when they come in. Probably the same damp cloth for all the desks. A lick and a promise at best, just removing the day’s dust.

Which means the gunge and goo and other stuff gets to stay there. Waiting for you, next time.

And what’s it going to be when it happens? Something good and slimming from M&S? Snazzy from Pret A Manger? Cheesy decadence from Domino’s? Or pastry indulgence from Greggs?

All good and easy to eat. Especially on the go. Head down and staring at the laptop. Free hand hovering with the next mouthful.

Hold it, right there. You’re eating with your fingers? Not exactly stylish, but hey.

Though please say you washed your hands before you started. That you didn’t just rush out early to beat the lunch queue, then nip back and start munching. Or that you’re using the keyboard while you do that, licking your fingers to get the gravy off.

Gruesome yes, but that’s what most us do without thinking. And curse the tummy bug we always seem to be getting. Must be something to do with the office, carpets giving off or whatever.

Saving you from yourself

OK, the hell with that – get a rescue pack.

Less than 50p and you can get a bottle of hand gel to sit on your desk. Keep yourself safe whenever you start anything new – quicker and easier than running to the washroom.

Wet wipes too are probably under a quid. Handy in your top drawer for a quick wipe down first thing – and again before you eat.

Don’t forget to lift things up and do underneath. Especially your laptop – that yuck line of crumbs and smears comes back daily otherwise.

You should wipe the keys too. Look at them against the light and you can see the glaze of goo clinging there. And don’t forget your touchscreens.

Ever looked at your phone closely after a call? Make-up, facial grease, dead skin flakes and street dust. You don’t want to know.

Because so far in this rant, we haven’t mentioned germs. All we’ve been on about is how everything gets dirty even though we can’t see it most of the time.

But you’d better believe there’s germs around Big Time because of that dirt. And still hanging around AFTER cleaning as well, because no rub and scrub method in the world can reach all the places that germs congregate.

Workplace hazards

So face it. At any one time in your working day, your desk is exposing you to the risks of e.coli, salmonella, clostridium difficile, campylobacter, the superbug MRSA, cold and flu viruses and norovirus – and those are just the usual suspects.

Plus of course, these germs transfer onto everything that touches your desk too. Your hands, the memos in your in-tray, stapler, phone, calculator, lamp, mouse-pad, business cards, whatever.

And THEY transfer to whatever touches them. Which is how your colleagues get the same tummy bug you have. And you get that skin rash they’ve got.

All of which means wash your hands whenever you can. Cleanse them whenever you can’t get to soap and water. And start being paranoid about keeping your desk clean.

Because you wouldn’t eat at a restaurant where they didn’t clean the table, would you? Get served your food on the remnants of everybody else’s. But that’s what we’re doing at our desks.

Dangerous air

It’s not just ON our desks either. It’s AROUND them. The cupboards, the chairs, the shelving, all the wires down the back.

Plus in the AIR.

All those germy things are so small, even smoke particles are 1,000 times bigger. Which means they float, riding every swirl and eddy. So light, they may never come down. Ready for you to swallow or breathe in. Right through the empty space that’s 80% of any room.

Clean your hands, clean your desk – those guys can still get you.

Unless your boss is smart and gets them first. Blitzes them to nothing with a Hypersteriliser – the automated germ killer that mists up the whole place with hydrogen peroxide. Viruses and bacteria are oxidised to oblivion, nothing, gone.


All germs are eliminated – including from unreachable cracks and crevices, the bits that never get cleaned. And your desk of course – on top, underneath, everywhere. You’re safe.

Now, you want to do lunch? Your desk is ready – and germ-free.

You’ll survive!

Picture Copyright: grinvalds / 123RF Stock Photo